More than one hundred gathered at the Chicago Rockford International Airport to hear ComEd announce its plan to construct six microgrids across Northern Illinois–something the company is calling a groundbreaking technology.
A microgrid is a small power grid that connects to the main grid. It can also operate independently. They strengthen the reliability and resiliency of the grid, making it more difficult for areas to lose power.
But where do you construct the grids?
ComEd is going to place them near what they consider to be vital infrastructure areas.
“In our mind, it’s hospitals, it’s water, it’s transportation, it’s emergency response. You still have those pockets of critical infrastructure that are up and running,” says Anne Pramaggiore, President & CEO, ComEd.
This includes the Chicago Rockford International Airport, which has local officials excited.
Larry Morrissey – Mayor, City of Rockford
“It’s building infrastructure that’s going to put even more emphasis and more importance on our airport, which has been a huge economic generator for our community, creating a lot of jobs,” says Larry Morrissey, Mayor, City of Rockford.
What all of this means is that in the event of extreme weather or another catastrophic event, power will be up and running regardless of whether or not the main power grid goes down.
Officials with ComEd also believe these microgrids will support economic growth down the road.
“We believe that growth in the future is going to be heavily dependent on strong infrastructure. And we want to create electric infrastructure that meets the needs of customers in the future,” Pramaggiore said.